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Wooden Crates: How To Extend Lifespan

Some manufacturers who need a long lasting storage and shipping solution will turn to non-biodegradable packaging, such as plastic, assuming its lifespan is much longer than wooden cratesBut did you know that wooden crates can last for centuries? 


Decay: Stand in the way

It’s true. Earth’s most valuable renewable resource does not decay when we treat it right. 

wooden crates

According to a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report titled "Build Green: Wood Can Last for Centuries", decay is caused by microscopic thread-like fungi that attack the thick cell walls of wood.

To live, fungi need four things:

  • Favorable Temperatures
  • Moisture
  • Suitable Food Material

So, what do you have to do to make sure your wooden crates last for what feels like forever? The short answer is: you have to “stand in the way of decay.”


Decay: It begins 

If the all the conditions are right, fungi get their food from (you guessed it) wood!

According to the report, “controlling their growth usually results from depriving fungi of the one condition that is simple to control—water. However, water by itself does not decay wood.”

So not surprisingly moist wood is more likely to decay. The reason for this is “the spores (like seeds of a flowering plant) from which decay fungi grow and attach to wood cells are everywhere in the environment. If provided with enough moisture, these fungi will destroy the cell walls and weaken wood.”

In the advanced stages of decay, fungi produce fruiting bodies (better known as mushrooms) on wooden crates. You’ve seen them jutting out of the sides of trees, right? Well, according to the USDA report, “each fruiting body produces billions of spores that, when released, are blown about by the wind. If they land on moist wood, they may begin growing and start the decay process again.”

Decay: How to prevent

To protect your wooden crates from water, moisture and decay for a long-life you can: 

  • reusable wooden cratesUse a coating that forms a moisture-impervious film, such as paints and varnishes, while keeping the seal at wood junctures intact
  • Use preservative-treated wood 
  • Reduce moisture in your facility, storage areas, or other places where wooden boxes are kept
  • Install special sheeting or covers
  • Utilize desiccants, moisture absorbing technology and other anti-corrosion methods. 

Wood crates: Protect Investments 

refurbished wooden crates

Wood boxes prove themselves to be a good investments over plastic packaging for their refurbishing opportunities as well.

Wood elements of a package can easily be replaced no matter where you are in the world!

Additionally, the cost of refurbishing typically doesn't exceed half the cost of a brand new container.


Topics: Wood

Valley Box Company

Written by Valley Box Company

Valley Box demonstrates what is possible beyond just the typical wooden crate. This specialty crating manufacturer works with a wide variety of materials from wood to plastic, corrugated, metals and more. Discover how to take specialty crating to the next level.